November 25, 2017

Today in History: Alaska

Today in History–November 20–the Library of Congress features the Alaska Highway, opened on this date in 1942. Originally known as the Alcan Highway, this 1,500-miles-long roadway connected Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to Fairbanks, Alaska. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more information and primary sources related to the great state of Alaska. Alaska stories from America's Library Alaska primary source set Alaska … [Read more...]

Featured Source: A Plan of My Farm

Zoom into this old map. Do some math, how many acres in total are listed on this map. There are 640 acres in 1 square mile. Approximately how many square miles is this farm? Look for clues on the map to see if you can determine when it was made and by whom. Make a rough sketch of what you think the farm looked like in pencil. Now compare the map above to another map of the same area from a later date. What changed? What stayed the same? What more did learn about the farm and the farm owner? … [Read more...]

NHD 2017: CMHEC Topic Ideas – Urban Planning, Housing, Architecture, Environment

These curated resource lists coincide with the order of the topic ideas listed in the Chicago Metro History Fair (formerly CMHEC) NHD 2017 theme-related topic ideas. The links lead to resources from the Primary Source Nexus and the Library of Congress (LOC.gov) unless otherwise noted. Note: U.S. historic newspaper coverage is from 1789-1922 unless otherwise noted. Burnham and the City Beautiful Today in History: Daniel Burnham background & primary sources Featured Source: 1893 … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Women own about one percent of world’s land

Zoom into this 1997 map online or this .pdf document. What do you learn just from looking at the title and the information presented outside of the country labels (ignore the orange leaves for now)? Look at the country labels (orange leaves). Which countries have the most female landowners? Use the information provided in this map to chart female land ownership in 1997. How might you explain this data? What questions do you have? A 2013 United Nations report describes the importance of female … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Little Rory Borealis

Look carefully at this map of the Arctic (online or .pdf document). Which countries could Rory live in if he lived above the Arctic Circle? Which of the animals in the picture would you NOT see in the Arctic Circle? Rory's mother named him after the Aurora Borealis, also called the Northern Lights, which you can see in the Arctic. Find out more about the Northern Lights. What causes them? When can you see them? Imagine you are living in the Arctic Circle. Draw a picture of you living … [Read more...]

NHD 2016: CMHEC Topic Ideas – Environment & Geography

Below you will find Library of Congress resources curated by TPS-Barat that relate to National History Day 2016 topic ideas from the Chicago Metro History Education Center. This set specifically focuses on the environment and geography but all topic ideas are related to the 2016 NHD theme: Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History. NOTE: historic newspaper coverage is from 1836-1922. Black Hawk War: Violent Encounters, Exchanges for Land Battle of Bad Axe print 1857 Indian wars of the … [Read more...]

Featured Source: How the Sun Spots Control Our Weather

Zoom into a more detailed image of this newspaper page from 1912. Look at the images carefully and only read the headline and image captions. Outline the assertions—facts or beliefs—that are suggested. Now read the first paragraph of the article. Describe your reaction to this text. Then relate how the descriptions of weather events compare to what we are reading about the weather today. Do some research to find out how the assertions—facts or beliefs—from the historic newspaper article … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Kenya 12-69

Imagine you are from another planet and have been charged with reporting back to your commander on this country called Kenya on the continent of Africa. Zoom into this composite map and investigate the information presented. Create an outline of your findings. Compare the information in this composite map with one of the maps linked to below, noting similarities and differences. Kenya population density, NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center 2000 Kenya's ethnic groups, BBC … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Rachel Carson

Rachel Carson was a trained biologist and a best-selling author. In her writing, Carson presented scientific facts from an ecological perspective in a poetic writing style. She made science interesting and understandable to regular people. She was best known for her books Silent Spring and The Sea Around Us. Her writing about ecology and the dangers of pesticides was essential to the start of the environmental movement. Rachel Carson stories from America's Library Ecology for … [Read more...]

Today in History: Gifford Pinchot

Today in History–May 13–the Library of Congress features the opening day of the Governors' Conference on the Conservation of Natural Resources on this day in 1908. President Theodore Roosevelt delivered the stirring opening address but the conference was spearheaded by Chief Forester of the United States Gifford Pinchot. The conference helped put the spotlight on conservationism. Pinchot later went on to become Governor of Pennsylvania. Find out more about this forester and politician by … [Read more...]